life’s a beach

oh I do like to be beside the seaside…..

We love Norfolk! We’ve mentioned it before and it was our choice of destination for our minimoon, we have friends that live there, friends that love going there and my sis has just moved there.

We are used to having my sis and niece and their 2 dogs on the doorstep and we really miss them so went to visit today.

in he goes

I’m fine!!

again! (Max obviously thinks he is bonkers)

It was a chance for a catch up, to see their new home and to get out for a nice afternoon walk with the dogs.

Kit, liz’s other half is a Norfolk boy through and through and apart from having a love for this gorgeous county, he also has a pretty good knowledge of the place.  We had some coffee on arrival, a snoop around their lovely cottage (classic flint built with red brick koins at the corners), brunch then a stroll at Oversands.

I absolutely love the coast and particularly our beaches. JC and I used to spend every spare minute that we had walking the Dorset jurassic coast or the hills of Teesdale and Norfolk combines bits from both so it firmly has my affections.  Add to that, long sunny days spent running around naked on Holkham beach when we were kids, and I am a bit smitten. Oh to be able to afford to retire and move there for a life of loafing!!!!!

I’ll get it

it’s just there

it’s moving away (notice max has scarpered)

got it!!

I’m fine!!

I’ll just surf in, ok?

see, I told you I’d be fine

These brief interludes are not quite enough but they are so glorious.

There seems to be a long period between low and high tide and the amount of water being moved by the tides at the moment which sounds like they must be on spring tides (all connected to the phases of the moon). I know things like this from my diver coxswain days scuba diving and boating around the british coast (that’s a whole other post!!). Anyway Kit and Liz disagreed on when we should walk but we were ready to go when we were ready to go.

all mine

The tide had just started ebbing but with no real urgency which Kit had warned us might be the case (you see, local knowledge) so we had a bit of scrambling rather than a walk on the way out and we didn’t stay dry!

Needless to say the dogs absolutely loved it and didn’t give a single jot about the tide.

there ya go!

I have blogged about my sister’s fabulous but elderly terrier Puppy (official name Hamlet) who is about 12 years old. He is an interesting character and typical of a terrier which means he is not necessarily an easy dog.  Heston, who is my sis’s other dog (a 2 year old border terrier) and Max (who was 4 in July) are ‘young pups’ relatively speaking.

I ‘SAID’ it was mine

That’s as maybe but the old boy is far and away the braver of the 3.  He tackles impossibly large rocks, he has survived an unexpected tussle with an attacking badger, despatched more rats than you can wag a tail at and he has also survived a kidnapping by a local camp of gypsies.

He loves the beach as I think we all do but throw something into the waves for him to retrieve and he enjoys it even more.

I’d better keep it over here

He really is fearless in the waves and just when you think he is out of his depth and could be in trouble, the little chap just surfs back to the beach to do it all over again.

I actually think that he would do it until he dropped like a stone.

I’ll have this too just in case


hare raising

happy hare

The furry one likes to chase hares. He seems to think he has a chance of catching one!

We put him on the lead when we know they are about but sometimes he picks up their scent or spots them before we are aware and off he goes!

still not bothered

It’s quite amusing to see his back end disappear at speed accompanied by a lot of ‘yip yipping’.  The hare that is firmly in his sites lollops along quite unconcerned and only opens the valves with a full on Formula One gear change to shake him off when the hare has had enough of this annoying noisy white thing. It’s all over pretty quickly.

I think I’ll move out of the way

At the moment, the hedgerows and verges are quite high and there isn’t a lot to be seen once hare and hotly pursuing terrier disappear into them. For a short while there is evidence of movement in the undergrowth but that soon becomes indiscernible when the distance between Max and the hare inevitably increases.

lolloping out of the way

Normally, we hear his over excited yipping while he is chasing and once it stops, it’s a sure sign that he has given up and he reappears defeated.

A couple of times recently he has obviously decided that silence is a stealthier way to approach the chase and it may promise more success.

It doesn’t work!

If I go this way he’ll be really confused

Eventually, a very tired little dog reappears with a happy look on his face.  I don’t think he registers these fruitless pursuits as failures. His optimism is never shaken in the face of defeat and I think he just thinks that it’s great fun.

has that thing not gone yet?

He seems to have a good nose and sniffs them out sometimes but as JC says, ‘there’s nothing wrong with his nose, it’s the stuff behind it that’s the problem!’

this’ll confuse him

His chasing continues and his enthusiasm for it is only matched by the speed of the departing Hare as it disappears.

His success rate remains as poor as it can be but boy does he sleep afterwards!

Those sleeps are probably filled with hare chasing dreams and his twitching limbs are probably out there running after them again. The yip yips that he no longer uses in his wake time chases, can now be heard in his dream time chases.

It’s very funny.

slugs and snails and puppy dog’s tails

common snail on the stem of cow parsley

The recent wet weather has been very trying and I think it is safe to say that everyone is sick of it. I don’t think we’ve had the barbecue out once this summer and even if we don’t manage that, we eat outside most evenings. I think we did that once back in May.

yellow and striped snails on a poplar trunk

It is evident when you are out and about though that not all creatures great and small are as fed up of this wet and rain as we are……

There are slugs and snails absolutely everywhere.

We were walking at the weekend and not only are all the trees, grasses and flowers crawling with them but they are all over the paths and tracks too.

it’s a long way down

I’m sure we don’t see them as much when we get a proper summer because they are staying safe under cover from the sun in a nice moist recess somewhere. I’m also sure that many of them don’t survive a normal summer.

Ironically they are ‘making hay while the sun shines’.

room for a small one

We’ve seen them in every shape and colour and although I dislike them intensely when they are chomping on my veg patch, in the open countryside they are quite interesting and have a beauty all of their own.

striped snail

The ones I like the most are the yellow ones. They remind me of a lovely holiday in Brittany when I collected lots and lots of tiny empty yellow sea shells off the beach and brought them home. They sit in a vase on the shelf in our bathroom along with a load of others collected from around the world.

I’m not sure snail shells will be getting added any time soon…….

monster slug

I am reliably informed that the common snail makes half decent eating but it needs to be left in a bucket of spinach overnight to dine on which adds some flavour. I think I could feed the five thousand if I collected all the fat juicy ones I have seen over the last 2 days but I’m not sure if I want to try.

even more of a monster

I’m all for foraging and food for free but I might have to have a long hard think before adding snails to the list of what I am happy to chomp on.

getting away

So! Where are we going?

Our JRT, Max comes almost everywhere with us. He comes away with us at weekends, around to friends when we are invited and we don’t holiday without him. Destination and accommodation is chosen on dog appropriate and dog friendliness.

The only times he can’t be included is restaurants and work, really.

ready when you are

During the week Max stays at home in the day but only for a few hours at a time. Although we both work, we are very lucky to both work from home mostly and have to be out for only a few hours each time. Even though we are mostly around, our friends Jess and Jeanette pop in a couple of times a day for a quick play and to let him out. I sometimes think he wishes we’d all just go away and leave him in peace for a bit.

come on! what’s the hold up?

When we do have to go out, we leave home having put him to his bed with a small treat and he is perfectly happy.

If we start packing the car, however, that is a completely different matter and that simple task generates a huge amount of doggy activity.

Packing the car simply isn’t allowed to happen without his involvement.  It has to be dealt with.

I’m watching

Given the first chance, he will be in the car making sure that he is ahead of us and we can’t going ANYWHERE without him!

He tries to look a bit casual but there isn’t a single movement that gets missed.

If he can’t manage getting in the car, he positions himself right by the door and is ever watchful

if you move, I’ll know it

Once he’s happy in the knowledge that we aren’t doing anything fun without him, going anywhere without him or that we are doing something that he should clearly be involved in, he nestles into your knee (just to make sure you don’t make a move without his knowledge of course) and doses intermittently.

who moved?

He generally likes having some part of himself touching you at most opportunities but if we are staying away, he keeps up the contact that he starts in the car and doesn’t generally sleep unless he is against mine of JC’s warmth.

Ever watchful, he rouses himself at the slightest shift before sighing and nodding off again.

OK, we’re staying put. Good!

Once safely home, he is happy to take himself off to the quiet corner where his little bed sits and sleep the sleep of the innocent without the need to be touching one of us as we are close by anyway and will be returning soon!

It is very funny and incredibly endearing.  I can’t honestly think why we’d leave him behind!